Artificial daylight in the hen house.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Youngfamily1989, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Youngfamily1989

    Youngfamily1989 In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2007
    Tennessee City
    My chickens were going on roost about 5:00 cst time. I put 2 flood lights in their hen house now they dont know the difference between daylight and dark. I was told this will increase my egg production. I was getting 18 - 23 eggs per day out of 26 hens. Then as the days got shorter it steadly dropped to 7-10. Do you all have light in your hen houses ? If so how much daylight do you give them ? I will turn the lights off at 8:30 then it get daylight around 5:45 in the morning. So thats roughly 14 hrs of daylight. It seems to be working.

    Thanks Brian
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    14 hours is reccomended for helping them lay.
    FLOOD LIGHTS!?? WOW! Bright in there hu!?? I use flourescent light strip.....low on the energy usage, they dont get hot..and...they are bright. I havent started adjusting the light hours as of yet. They still seem to be laying quite well tho. So far!
  3. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I use 3, 20 watt halogens in the coop area. They are the kind
    you get at Home Depot for $30 per six pack. I've also got halogen
    floods in the run I leave on for a few hours after sundown.
    Flourescents do not produce a good spectrum of light. I'm not sure
    if this matters with chickens but it's cheaper to run the halogens anyways.

    The lights come on when we leave in the morning, around 7 AM.
    There are windows in the barn so they get light starting at 6.
    The lights don't get turned off until 11PM. I'd prefer to turn it off
    at 9 or 10 but I usually visit with them around 10PM, before bed.

    My 9 standard hens are up to 6-8 eggs a day and it doesn't seem
    to be dropping. We'll see what happens when the weather gets
  4. Youngfamily1989

    Youngfamily1989 In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2007
    Tennessee City
    the bulbs that I bought were 2 -26 watt flood lights. They are the new energy saving lights that supposed to last 6 yrs...we'll see. They cost $ 8.99 each they better last a while anyway. But yea its pretty bright in there.... sunshine bright [​IMG]. I hope the're fooled.
  5. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    *****DUMB QUESTION ALERT***** So what happens if they don't get artificial light??? I am just building my coop and don't have any way to get electricity to it outside of a huge orange extension cord which wouldn't be safe outside year round. My girls are about 7-9 weeks old, so I was hoping for eggs in January. Will we have to wait till spring when the days get longer before they start laying??? Does breed matter? We have americauna, cochin, brahma, RIR, Barred Rocks, black sex link, Wyandotte. Thanks, Suz
  6. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Quote:The only dumb questions are the ones that don't get asked. [​IMG]

    Hens will lay year-round but not as much in the winter as in the spring/summer. You, I mean they/chickens really don't need artificial light in order to lay eggs. From what I've read, it does depend on breeds and age.

  7. jeaucamom, I run an extension cord from our shop to our chicken coop during the winter and early spring and summer for the fan and lights. It hasn't been a problem for us. Good luck with your electricity.
  8. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    I like to have the light come on at about 4 am and go off after daylight usually about 7 or 7:30 am. Then they go to bed at dusk & I don't have any get "lost" when the lights go off all of a sudden and they aren't stuck outside or not on the roost.
    Saves on electricity too.

  9. ella

    ella Songster

    I don't use artificial light. It will increase egg production but it will also increases prolapse, burn out and general reproductive health issues.

    It's not a problem if you intend to cull your flock after a year but if you keep them as pets too you're going to end up with problems.

    Without artificial light my 25 girls layed 15-20 eggs a day all winter their first year. [​IMG]
  10. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I agree with ella. The use of artificial lights will result in a shortened egg laying life for your hens. They will either suffer reproductive issues, stop laying after just a few years (versus many years of laying) and be worthless a lot sooner than you would think. If you want a long term laying hen as a pet, then I wouldn't use lights. If you just want layers and lots of eggs and plan to cull often, then use the lights. In addition, the lights reduce the chance of natural molt which is part of a birds annual cycle. They don't get the annual new plumage, so bald backs remain bald backs and so on. Just things to keep in mind in making this decision.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: